FRANKLYWNOW - Imani Watkins sends BU to 65-64 win over UMass-Lowell to go 1-0

Imani Watkins sends BU to 65-64 win over UMass-Lowell to go 1-0 in America East

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VESTAL, N.Y. – Freshman guard Imani Watkins made the game-winning layup with five seconds left in regulation, leading Binghamton (3-11, 1-0 AE) to a 65-64 win over UMass Lowell (6-7, 0-1 AE) in an America East women's basketball game on Saturday afternoon at the Events Center. With the victory, the Bearcats have now won two of their past three games.

Watkins, who finished the game with 15 points, five rebounds, three assists and a career-high six steals, broke free and drove to the basket with time winding down. Her shot, from the left of the basket went off the glass and in. The River Hawks' long-range shot at the buzzer was off the backboard.

"Since the start of the year, we have focused on getting ready for conference play," head coach Linda Cimino said. "Today was a total team effort against a good team. Everybody contributed and I thought we stepped up defensively at the end of the game."

Watkins was one of three Binghamton players to reach double figures in scoring. Junior guard Kim Albrecht finished with a game-high 20 points while freshman point guard Jasmine Sina added 19 points, five rebounds, two assists and three steals.

UMass Lowell appeared to take control of the game when it went on a 17-6 run in a span of 6:24 to go up 50-41 with 11:38 left in regulation. Kayla Gibbs led the River Hawks with six points during that stretch.

The Bearcats clawed back to within 63-59 with a minute left in regulation when Albrecht single-handedly tied the game. She converted a layup, caused a turnover on the ensuing River Hawk possession and was fouled on the play. Albrecht then sank both free throws with 20 seconds left in regulation.

Shannon Samuels, who finished with 15 points, seven rebounds, four assists, a pair of blocks and three steals, was fouled with 17 seconds left in regulation. She missed the first of two free throws but converted her second attempt, giving the River Hawks a 64-63 lead. That set the stage for Watkins' decisive shot.

Senior forward Sherae Swinson finished with nine points and 10 rebounds, marking the seventh time in her career she has finished in double figures in rebounds.

Lindsey Doucette led UMass Lowell with 19 points and 10 rebounds.

Binghamton heads to Hartford for a 7 p.m. game on Tuesday.

(Courtesy: Binghamton Athletics)
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